Spring has already arrived, with the hot weather heralding the imminent arrival of summer. With that, the 2021 gardening season has also finally arrived. The COVID-19 pandemic may have isolated us from many of our favourite hobbies, but gardening is something that anyone can enjoy. However, it can be a bit difficult for newcomers to begin gardening. Whether you are a relative newbie to gardening, or cannot even tell a hoe and a shovel apart, here are some tips for gardening that everyone should know.
Remember your resources
The first thing you must keep in mind is that gardening requires something to grow your plants upon. Although some people may prefer gardening methods such as hydroponics, the general way to garden is to grow your plants on soil. Therefore, soil will most often be needed to begin gardening. By investing in some high-quality soil that is nutrient-rich, you can ensure that your garden will be able to get the highest level of growth it can achieve.
Another thing to remember is that plants are living things. This means that they require water to survive and thrive. It is crucial to water your plants so that your garden does not resemble the landscape in a Fallout game. A good way to tell if your plants need watering is to insert one finger an inch into the soil. If it is dry, it is time for you to water them. One great tip is to have a hose nearby, so you do not have to spend time lugging water from elsewhere whenever you have to water the plants.
Do not eat the soil
Now, although tempting it may be, it is important to remember to NOT ingest any soil/dirt. Soil is mostly made out of minerals and organic matter. This means that soil contains things like animal feces and bacteria. Eating soil can lead you to get infected by many dangerous parasites, such as roundworms, which cause toxocariasis. Soil-transmitted diseases are among the most common infections worldwide and affect millions of people every year. So even though we are among soil when gardening, please do not get that soil inside you, as you would probably end up in the emergency room right after.
Get a calendar
Most gardens are located outside. This means that your garden can and will be affected by Mother Nature. Whether it be rainstorms or cold snaps, it is important to check the weather to protect your plants from dying to Ol’ Mama Nature. Of course, as the sands of time pass by, there will come a time when winter arrives, and it becomes too cold to plant your garden. It is important to know your dates, as well as the times of the year where it is too cold to grow anything. Starting your garden too early can lead to your plants suffering an early cold demise, while not moving your garden indoors in the late fall can have them suffer the same fate. In the past, farmers and gardening enthusiasts used a Farmer’s Almanac to check on the frost dates and whatnot. Today, in this new Age of Information, we can go online to see the frost dates for our locations. In Toronto, the spring frost was calculated to be around May 4, while the earliest fall frost is calculated to be around October 13. This gives gardeners around 160 days to grow their garden. While the information may not always be perfectly correct, it gives you an idea of when to start gardening, and when to stop.
Choose your plants wisely
Now that you know the simple tips, you may rush to the gardening center to pick up any plant that looks/smells nice. However, it is important to select plants that fit your geographic and growing location. For example, although you may want to grow a mango tree in your backyard, Canada is just too far up north for mango trees to grow. Before picking what plants to buy, remember to do some additional research to learn which plants match your growing conditions, and pick varieties of plants that will thrive in your garden. By performing research first, you can save yourself quite a headache later on, and learn a bit about your local flora in the process.
Gardening is hard work. You must put in lots of effort weeding, watering, and growing your plants, not to mention fighting off those pesky rabbits that want to eat your peppers. However, the benefits of gardening are immense. Not only do you feel a sense of achievement in growing and nurturing life in your backyard, but gardening also gives you a time of meditation where you can be with yourself, and think about life. Furthermore, science has even shown that gardening can help you live longer! With these tips, you are now able to grow a garden successfully, and enjoy one of humanity’s oldest hobbies.
Feel free to email us at [email protected] if you have any more gardening tips and tricks, or some questions about gardening in general.
Photo: Neslihan Gunaydin on unsplash.com